Cultural variations between communities may impact injury rates, especially among children. We conducted a retrospective study of three communities in Israel using data from the Israel National Trauma Registry (1998-2007). Pediatric injury hospitalization rates in urban communities with varied levels of socio-economic status (low, medium, and high) were compared for all injuries and cause-specific injuries. Age-standardized and age-specific rates were calculated. Age-standardized injury hospitalization rates were lowest for the low socio-economic status (SES) community (299.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 289. 8-309.6) compared to the medium SES (658.2, 95% CI 629. 1-687.3) and high SES (443.7, 95% CI 422.2-465.3) communities. Similar rates were observed for injuries from falls, transportation, accidental striking and intentional causes. For example, rate ratios for falls were 149.1 (95% CI 142.0-156.2), 340.8 (95% CI 319.5-362.1) and 245.7 (229.9-261.5) in the low, medium and high SES communities, respectively. Deviations from these overall trends were noted, however, for pedestrian injuries and burns that were relatively higher in the low SES community and injuries from motorized vehicles that were greater among children living in the high SES community. These results suggest that strong social capital is associated with reduced pediatric injury risks regardless of community wealth. However, targeted interventions for reducing injuries in at-risk populations that rely solely on injury rates may omit culturally distinct communities and overlook their uneven burden to the trauma care system.
- Socio-economic status